Coco: Pixar’s newest masterpiece

by Brandon Matzke

I finally saw it. After two weeks of scheduling and planning, I saw it for you guys. This film follows Miguel, a young boy whose entire family hates music. And I do mean they HATE music. So much that they’ve basically forced everyone in their gene pool to become shoemakers. But poor Miguel simply wants to be a musician and unintentionally gets sent into the land of the dead, where he discovers the secrets behind his family’s history with music. And let me tell you, Pixar is far from losing their touch.

Positives:

One thing that I’ve always admired from Pixar was their imagination. They truly brought this film to life with every ounce of imagination possible squeezing from every frame. The world of this film is so creative and colorful that it should be studied by writers and world-makers alike. And the characters are so much fun, and, from the con-man esque Hector (who I consider to be the best character in the film) to Miguel, to even the mutated dog freak known as Dante, were a blast to watch. The film has one thing a film about music should definitely have: MUSIC! This soundtrack brimnes with culture and wonder, and just adds so much to this film. The animation flows to perfection, with every single detail staying relevant.

Negatives:

I had no major problems with the film itself. What I didn’t like were some of the cliches in the first half of the film (minor flaws). And there’s one more thing I didn’t like. One major, singing snowman shaped flaw. Perhaps 21 minutes of it…. Well, it wasn’t part of the film (it was a so-called “short” that played before it), but wow did it ruin my experience. Thankfully, the theater was merciful to us viewers and gave us free snacks for enduring that crap! Yay!

Overall:

Pixar films are hard films for me to review. Not because they’re bad, but because 80% of the time they make complete masterpieces! I don’t know what’s left to say! Pixar, stop making good movies! I’m running out of ways to praise you! In all seriousness, this is a good film to watch with the family, and definitely earns a 10/10. Definitely check it out, it is most likely going in my top 10 of the year, and please subscribe to this awesome blog. They have so much talent that I can’t even find a flaw with it (and my whole job is being a critic!), and I think my film reviews are only a tenth of what makes this paper great.

The Ugly Flannel

by Mary Deluca

“Music has taught me to just take a moment and look around and enjoy everything,” junior Ben Nguyen said.

Ben started his own band called The Ugly Flannel and started playing shows in April of 2016. Ben really got into music with his friends in garages packed with people but is slowly moving up and actually getting more gigs and traveling for his music.

Ben started recording his own music in his bedroom listening to bands like American Footballs, Tiny Moving Parts, and Real Friends.

“The main thing that pushed me to create something that I could call mine.”

Ben started out with acoustic albums he made at bandcamp. Everything started to change when Ben met Shaun Welldon freshmen year after one of his first shows. He saw potential in Ben after seeing him crowd surf and sing alongs bad stage banters.

Ben went on to say how much of an impact Shaun has had on him. Shaun runs youth events and throws shows for people 19 and under like Ben. Ben appreciates Shaun for being there through all of his music, sticking around, and being a great friend and mentor.

Ben loves music and loves meeting new people on tour, drinking cheap coffee, staying up late, and coming up with song lyrics.

Ben works with a lot of different people and learns a lot from his drummer Athen, and bass guitarists Kate and Nick.

“They helped me learn how to improve, how to warm up even, how to record music,” Ben said.

Music brings pure happiness into Ben’s life and constantly makes him happy through his creating and expressing his emotions in songs he wrote himself. The thought of someone else enjoying them is just as much is amazing.

Check out Ben’s own website that sells merchandise and his albums on uglyflannel.com

 

Beyond Rap’s Bad Rep

by Mitchell Karcher

Many people hold strong opinions on rap/hip-hop music, whether they love it or despise it, it is one of the biggest music genres to date. However, due to its vulgarity, several people refuse to listen it and group it all in the same category as what they consider “garbage rap.”

This unfair description is a gross generalization that cuts down what this form of art truly is.

“There’s Alot Going On” by Vic Mensa is a gem that represents rap as a true form of poetic of speech. Flowing with the background music Vic backs his speech with genuine emotion as he raps about his starting phase of addiction and partying while writing his music. He then dives into his troubled relationship with his girlfriend at the time, Natalie. He abused her and proceeds to explain he was in the wrong as he was taking all of his aggression out on her after his band broke up, which let him down from high expectations.  He continues with explaining his serious drug addiction and recovery stating he moved back home to his mom’s basement before he made it big in the rap industry.

With research focus in urban arts, Dr. Emery Petchauer, an associate professor and coordinator of the English education program at MSU, speaks more in depth about hip-hop as a genre and culture.

When asked why hip-hop has surpassed other music genres, he said, hip-hop music appeals “to diverse experiences among people,” and “music with heavy drums (like hip-hop) has a really broad appeal to people because drums are universal. Hip hop may “speak” to some people because of the beat alone, or the beat at first. That’s why we dance to hip-hop music sometimes and are not even thinking about the words!”

Speaking on this level, it is perfectly understandable why music like Vic Mensa’s has become so mainstream.

 

Review- Amadeus (1984)

by Brandon Matzke

Rating: (theatrical) PG

Wow.

Based on the stage production of the same name, Amadeus could be the best film I have ever seen. I almost never say stuff like that. This masterpiece of cinema is a story about every theme imaginable: love, hate, pride, jealousy, obsession, appreciation, whatever you want; it’s in there. The film follows Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), a former musician sent to an insane asylum following an attempted suicide. He is soon visited by a priest to whom he confesses to “killing Mozart.” What starts out as a simple life story ends up as a tale of rivalry between the surprisingly immature, yet talented, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (played to perfection by Tom Hulce) and a musician slowly losing his sanity.

Positives
Where to start? Well, the visuals are fantastic. There isn’t any CGI, but this film needed none. The colors reflect the tone perfectly: the uplifting scenes are bright and vibrant, while the more dramatic moments are darker and dimly lit. The costumes and sets put me exactly in this era, and the music, OH THE MUSIC! It’s about Mozart, so of course it’s going to have an amazing soundtrack. And the acting? Purely phenomenal. There isn’t a single dull performance in the film. And the directing is phenomenal; there isn’t a single dull moment in the film. Despite being almost three hours long, I never found myself bored.

Negatives
What negatives? I couldn’t find a single one. Sure, the runtime of nearly three hours can turn off some viewers, but it never stopped me before.

Overall
I consider this film to be one of the best films ever made, and for good reason. I’m not even that big on music, and I still consider this to be a masterpiece. So, of course, I have to give it an 11/10. If I could give it higher, I would immediately. This may be my favorite film of all time, even beating out other classics including Forrest Gump, The Godfather, Drive, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, To Kill A Mockingbird, Fight Club, Alien, The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, Rocky, The Shawshank Redemption, Lord of The Rings: Return Of The King, and Back To The Future (all of which I highly recommend). But now I’m curious; since I reviewed my favorite film of all time, I want to know what your favorite movie is. Be sure to comment!

What the critics say:
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

IMDb: 8.3/10

Students and administration comment on spirit dance music selection

On September 15, Grandville High School had it’s second spirit dance of the 2017-2018 school year. Many students enjoyed the first dance while others were disappointed by the songs played.

Senior Matt Kocsis said “The [second] dance was good but there were less people there.”

GHS Administration is “Open to new music, but want it to be school appropriate” explains one of Grandville’s assistant principals Mrs. Caroline Ernst.

GHS is trying its best to play music the students like but want to keep it school appropriate.

Students suggest the school should allow one or a couple of less school appropriate words into songs so students can have a more memorable dance with music they really enjoy.

One song suggestion that came up a lot when students were asked what they want to hear at the dance was “Rockstar”  by Post Malone featuring 21 Savage. Rockstar isn’t 100% clean like what the school wants, but it’s what students want to hear, what they listen to in their cars and at home so should it be allowed at the dance?

Music genres by class and artist recommendations

by Miggy Guzman

Music is everywhere we walk.

It is in the hallways.

It is in the classroom.

It is a part of us in this generation. Living in this generation where there are so many genres of music, we get stuck listening to what we always listen to daily. Here is what some of your peers and classmates grades are listening to.

Freshman Class

The freshman class is fresh and new to high school. They bring new ideas and new music, but Robert Keen, Isaac burns, Conner Kelly and Kyle Henning like to bring it back old school. They listen to metal and classic rock like the great rock bands Nirvana and Motorhead but they also listen to some new music like Kendrick Lamar.

Sophomore Class 

Knowing the school pretty well by now, sophomores Sam Brooks, Cierra Roberts, Zane Peltier, and Elise Misner are more into hip hop, country, and pop. They are listening to the to singers and bands like 21 pilots, Florida Georgia Line, and Luke Brain.

Junior Class

More experienced students at this school are juniors like Kadden Russell, Devin Zwiers, Caleb Price and Erik Acevedo who are more into what today’s up and coming rappers have to say. The likes of Lil Pump, XXXTENTACION, and $ucide Boy$ are rappers coming up from the underground scene.

Senior Class

During their last four years of listening to music in high school and going through music trends as they change, Seniors Talin Dudley, Cameron Ranta, and Christian Ruff  listen to all types of music from ultimate rock to hip hop and pop. They listen to bands like Hollywood Undead, Lincoln Park and 90’s alternative rock bands. These seniors also listen to EDM artists like Mashmello and rappers like NF and Kaydo.

Walking down the halls we see different faces all the time. One thing we all have in common is music. We may not listen to the same artist, but we share a love of the same genres in music.

All students need to be open to listen to new music and explore new options.